Hacking. WordPress. Computer security. Malware. You hear these terms in the news constantly, as new attacks occur and system weaknesses are discovered. It’s not just for the headlines though! Website security is a serious issue, even when you’re using a common platform like WordPress.
The bad news is that the more people that use a particular type of software, the more attractive it is as a target for hackers. For example, Windows systems are much more common targets than Apple systems, simply because there are so many more people using them.
WordPress runs over 24% of all websites around the world. That’s a lot of targets! There’s still a big upside to using WordPress though: it’s open source. That means there is a large, dedicated community of contributors working hard to improve it.
Make no mistake about it though, all the hard work of those contributors does nothing unless you are vigilant about constantly updating your WordPress software. Not only does that make your site perform better because you’ll always have the latest bug fixes and upgrades, but it’s the only way to make sure you have the latest security patches as well.
Any WordPress developer will tell you that WordPress security is a bit like whack-a-mole. Every time a problem or a vulnerability is fixed, a new one will pop up somewhere else. When people try to tackle their WordPress site maintenance and security themselves, these are some of the common issues we see:
Infrequent backups. If your site ever does get hacked and needs to be restored, you’re only able to restore from the most recent backup. If you’re not backing up frequently then you could potentially lose a lot of content and/or data.
Not using an appropriate WordPress security plugin. There are a variety of WordPress security plugins available to do things from ensuring good password hygiene to preventing certain types of attacks. Knowing how to search through the pile and find the right one for your website can be tedious and confusing if you aren’t well-versed in WordPress security.
Introducing WordPress coding vulnerabilities. Anytime you or somebody writes custom code for your WordPress site, you are potentially introducing security vulnerabilities into your system. You need to know what to look for to keep your custom code from providing an entry point for hackers.
Not using a secure WordPress host. Some hosting companies leave security issues entirely up to you, while others offer much better support to keep your site secure. Choosing the right host is an important decision.
Consider using a 3rd party WordPress service provider that offers a maintenance plan that takes care of the updates and security issues for you. You should focus on what you’re good at: running your business and creating great content for your website. Leave the security concerns to the professionals! It’s the best and most convenient option to ensure your WordPress website is safe and secure.